Have you ever noticed how some entrepreneurs go from being dirt-poor to becoming self-made billionaires? You probably wondered how they did it. Personally, I don’t think they found success by being smarter, more hardworking, or even luckier than the rest of us. I believe many super-successful leaders get there by learning better than the rest of us. Over the years, I have developed five practical ways to learn something new in business based on my experience.
Reading 10 Books
It’s easy. Go to Amazon, type in the topic you want to master and read the 10 top-selling books in that category. Pay attention to the words and concepts that seem to matter
Attending The Best Workshop On The Topic
When learning about predictive analytics, I bought the book Predictive Analytics by Eric Siegel. I learned the author hosted a massive conference on this topic, with the fitting name “Predictive Analytics,” so I went to it.
Interviewing Experts For Advice
I decided I wanted to learn more about digital marketing a year ago. Many of our clients were struggling with the increasing digitization of demand creation, and I wondered how this trend might impact our own business in the future. Rather than interviewing 10 experts, I made a target list and used referrals to interview over 100 experts on this topic. People are happy to have a 30-minute discussion about their favorite subjects to help you learn. You know you’re getting your head around a topic when you start to hear the same buzzwords and pieces of advice again and again.
Hiring Someone As A Mentor Or Partner
You probably know a topic that an expert in another field would love to learn. Consider doing a “mentor swap” where you agree to exchange advice and pick each other’s brains a couple of times a year. The only thing better than having an expert mentor is to hire an expert full time.
Leading A Project
You have heard the expression “The best way to learn something is to teach it.” I’ve witnessed many clients and colleagues volunteer to run a project in an area of interest. In many cases, they were experts when they started the project, but immersing themselves in the topic and working toward delivering results in that area significantly boosted their expertise.
I have witnessed many leaders stall out in their careers. Most of the time, they get set in their ways and stop learning. If you want to keep thriving, adapting and innovating in your career, consider following these five tactics for learning something new.
Dr. Geoff Smart is the chairman and founder of ghSMART, a leadership consulting firm that exists to help leaders amplify their positive impact on the world. Dr. Smart and his firm have published multiple New York Times bestsellers. He stays active in his community and has advised many government officials.